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Rolling Stone Boston Marathon Bombing Cover Ignites Controversy [Update]

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, rock star? That’s what some people are wondering after seeing the latest cover of Rolling Stone. Tsarnaev appears on the front, and we must admit, the photo does remind us a little of Jim Morrison.

The reaction to the glossy seemingly knowingly portraying an accused terrorist as a celebrity has been swift and intense. Many people on Twitter chimed in that the cover was extremely offensive and said that they would never buy another issue of Rolling Stone. Countless more blasted the title for minimizing the victims and the families of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Of course this isn’t the first time Rolling Stone has featured an (alleged) mass murderer on its cover. In 1970, Charles Manson graced the front of the magazine with copy labeling him as “The Most Dangerous Man Alive:”

Perhaps Rolling Stone should have been a little more tactful with the photo. But how were they supposed to illustrate the accompanying story about Tsarnaev — which explores how a regular kid took the wrong path — without a picture of him? The cover also labels him a “monster,” but that doesn’t seem to be enough for most people. The majority opinion is one of outrage. People think that Rolling Stone’s cover is glamorizing terrorism.

We’ve reached out to the magazine for comment. We’re anxious to hear what they think.

Update (3:30 pm):

Rolling Stone has released a statement about the cover:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.

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